3 of The Smallest Netbooks Reviewed

Computers are heavy little buggers to have to carry around all day. I used to have an over the shoulder bag with my laptop in it. I’d get home at the end of the day with an aching shoulder from carrying it all the way home from work. Luckily, not only have netbooks made a dent in the market by providing a snappier alternative to fully fledged laptops, they’re also much smaller and lighter in the weight department. My shoulder thanks them.

Many netbooks these days come in at under the 5 pound mark, which is a huge step forward compared to just a few years ago when portable computers weighed as much as ten pounds. And if you’re looking for something smaller in terms of screen size, there are some netbooks that offer screen sizes of as little as 7”. It may be cramped for some, but others just need the smallest netbook out there to get by. Below you’ll find some of the smallest netbook screens around, as well as some of the lightest computers you can get. In many cases the screen size and total weight don’t have much to do with performance, so we’re going to break down each computer as well as its specifications so that you can get a better idea of how the computer does.

Why Smaller Netbook?

It may be tough for some people to understand why others would want a smaller screen or less weight if the computer is always in a backpack or some easy to carry bag. In regards to smaller screens, some folks want something they can use discreetly or something that isn’t going to take up what little room they have left in their briefcase on Monday mornings. Having a small yet functional computer can have many benefits and can even conserve more electricity than their wasteful desktop counterparts.

I’ve never had the need for the smallest netbook around, but one of my colleagues just got one for his daughter. Will all of her school books, fitting a laptop into her backpack alongside everything else was quite the hassle. The small netbook she ended up getting is big enough to take notes and browse the web, which is perfect for the school environment. Before you buy the biggest laptop you can find for all of that “screen real estate,” figure out if you actually need it first.

Products We’re Looking At

For the sake of this section, I’m going to list off netbooks that not only have a smaller screen size, but are also lower in weight than their bigger competitors.

Dell Inspiron Mini 9:

As it says in the name, the screen size of this bad boy is only 9” diagonal. It comes with all of the standard features of a netbook too, meaning that its smaller size doesn’t sacrifice quality for a smaller frame. With a little Google searching, you can find some pretty cool hacks and tweaks for this laptop as well. It’s infrastructure is pretty universal, making it very easy to upgrade.

  • The Dell Inspiron Mini 9 looks like this.
  • Black , Intel® Atom Processor® N270 1.6 Ghz
  • 1 GB DDR2 at 533MHz
  • 8GB Solid State Drive
  • Glossy 8.9 inch LED display (1024X600), Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950
  • Wireless 802.11g Mini Card, Genuine Windows® XP Home Edition

Asus 701:

You may have to go hunting for this one, as it’s a little outdated by now. Sadly, manufacturers started ignoring the small netbook market after it seemed like the majority of users wanted a bigger screen to work on. The Asus 701, Asus’ first venture into the netbook market, was a tiny machine that boasted a 7” screen size. Most of them ran on Linux, but Windows XP could still be installed if you wanted easier functionality. The computer also weighs just under 4 pounds as well, making it a dream to carry around. It often feels like it isn’t even there.

  • Intel Celeron 900Mhz Processor
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 4GB SSD
  • 4 Hour Battery Life
  • 800×480 Display

Asus EEE PC:

Depending on your definition of small, the EEE PC may fit your bill. It’s not the smallest netbook in the list, but at 10.1,” it’s smaller than some of the newer netbooks and still packs the same technical punch that it did before. I’ve used an EEE PC for years now and have loved every minute of it. They’re fast and functional and are just small enough for me not to have to strain each morning when I go to work with my laptop over my shoulder.

  • Intel Atom N455 (1.66GHz)
  • 1 GB DDR3 SODIMM memory, Max Capacity 2 GB
  • 250GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM); No optical drive
  • 10.1-Inch Matte 1024X600 WSVGA LED Display; 802.11 b/g/n; 0.3MP Webcam; 2-in-1 Card Reader MMC/SD(SDHC)
  • Up to 4 Hours of Battery Life; Windows 7 Starter Operating System

Which One to Pick?

If you’re not sure which of the above to go with, consider this. If you’re looking for the lightest computer you can find, either the Mini or the 701 are a good way to go. I’d recommend the Mini because of how much more powerful it is than the other two and in terms of customization, it can’t be beaten. If you want the smallest screen size possible though, the 701 is definitely the way to go. It may be hard to find them these days as they’re a bit out dated. If all you want to do though is a bit of work on the go and not watch Youtube videos on the couch, it’s still fast enough to handle all of those tasks.

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